Yancoal recently acquired Mt Thorley/Warkworth and Hunter Valley Operations (HVO) from Rio Tinto in a $953 million deal.
Yancoal have told workers at Mt Thorley/Warworth and HVO that they won’t touch most conditions for 12 months.
You have to ask, why Yancoal have set this time limit on your conditions?
And what do they mean by “most”?
Once the guarantee runs out, your important conditions will be up to management’s discretion.
Yancoal’s correspondence to Staff and Deputies
Yancoal’s track record
Yancoal is a mining multinational which operates 11 mines across Australia. They raked in $1,238.3 million last year in Australia alone.
In 2016 Yancoal set up a shelf company, ‘Yancoal Mining Services’ in secret. This new company was set up with the purpose of forcing Staff onto new contracts with lesser conditions.
Staff at Austar and Ashton were initially given just 10 days to decide between signing away their entitlements or getting the sack. These new contracts removed the guarantee of 3 weeks of redundancy per year of service, changes to sick leave and the removal of various long-standing allowances.
Yancoal were exploiting loopholes in our broken industrial relations system, which made it legal to effectively strip members of their contract conditions.
Senator Sam Dastyari on Yancoal’s treatment of their workers in the Hunter Valley
At another Yancoal Mine, Moolarben, the latest round of restructures led to new contracts, which again removed important entitlements like cars.
The system is broken when mega-rich mining multinationals like Yancoal can exploit loopholes, using shelf-companies and restructures in order to take away conditions from hard-working Staff and Deputies.
Redundancy pay and compo pay
Yancoal agreed at Moolarben, Ashton and Austar to guarantee full redundancy entitlements for 12 months.
But Yancoal then teamed up with the other big mining bosses in CMIEG (the Coal Mining Industry Employer Group) and spearheaded the case to slash redundancy pay. And now Yancoal are part of a case to see compo pay cut by 26 weeks.
Why are Yancoal pursing these cuts in your award redundancy and compo pay?
What union members did
Members were going up against Yancoal and our weak industrial relations laws which do not look out for the best interests of Staff. Members knew that they only stood a chance if they worked together. Staff and Deputies at Moolarben, Ashton and Austar joined the CSOA and collectively worked to improve their conditions. Members succeeded in getting the company to take their needs seriously and engage with Staff in genuine consultation.
Through this, members achieved in getting Yancoal to offer them significant financial compensation in exchange for the allowances that these new contracts removed. Staff and Deputies achieved these wins through being proactive and prepared. They knew they were only going to be able to protect these conditions by standing together.
Yancoal members have a strong history of working together even across mine sites to ensure they get a fair deal. Despite the rules been broken, members at other Yancoal sites have proven by working together you can win.
What you can do
Your guarantee runs out in less than 12 months. But you CAN do something about it. If Staff and Deputies organise collectively now, then you will be ready if Yancoal comes for your conditions.
Yancoal might have gangs of high-paid lawyers whose sole job it is to find loopholes to chip away entitlements. But what you have is the power to organise as a united unionised force.
You’ve got less than 12 months till the guarantee of entitlements runs out. Now is the time to get unionised, get organised and start demanding your rights at work.
- Join your union today
- Email us to have an organiser call you
- Have an organiser set up an offsite meeting
- Call on Yancoal to formally commit to keeping conditions permanently
Get organised before what Yancoal has done elsewhere happens to you.